Business News Digital Labels & Publishers

Digital music consumption rockets as 112,000 new tracks a day are added to streaming services, says Luminate

By | Published on Thursday 13 July 2023


Music data company Luminate yesterday published its ‘Midyear Music Report’, one of two reports it now publishes each year identifying consumption trends across the music business. And although the report goes into much more detail about the US market, it also outlines several global trends.

Among other things, the report confirms that digital music consumption continues to grow, with the global music industry’s trillion streams milestone being reached in March this year, a month earlier than in 2022.

And, by the end of June, two trillion audio streams had been delivered across the various digital platforms since the start of the year, a 22.9% increase on the same period last year. When audio and video streams are combined, 3.3 trillion streams were delivered, 30.8% more than in the first half of 2022.

Of course, in the streaming domain, from a revenue perspective, subscriber numbers are more important that the total number of streams.

Indeed, if total consumption is increasing faster than the total number of subscribers, then – once everything is averaged out – the industry will actually be earning less money per stream. But, you know, more music is being consumed than ever before, and I guess that’s good news in its own right.

For the US, Luminate also has stats around sales, both physical and digital. Physical discs and downloads now account for a relatively small minority of US recorded music revenues, of course, but nevertheless album sales are up this year. And an increase in sales is generally more closely linked to an increase in revenue.

Across all formats, album sales in the US were up 7.9% year-on-year for the first half of 2022, with all physical formats – so CD and cassette as well as vinyl – seeing increases. Although the vinyl revival remains key in that domain, with vinyl sales up 21.7% so far this year.

Other stats that have been notable talking points in recent years relate to the increased importance of catalogue in the streaming age and the huge quantities of music being delivered to the streaming services each day. And Luminate has new stats in both those areas too.

According to its data crunching, in the US catalogue music – which it defines as anything released more than eighteen months ago – now accounts for 72.8% of consumption, up from 72.4% last year.

Meanwhile, based on the number of new ISRCs appearing on the streaming services – ie the unique codes that identify each sound recording – “on average, 112,000 new music tracks are being added to streaming services each day, representing a 28% increase from 93,400 per day in 2022”.

You can access the full report – which also puts the spotlight on superfans and the increased engagement with non-English language music by US consumers – on the Luminate website here.